Editorial: Sending students and faculty back without proper resources puts lives at risk

Without the proper resources for going back to in-person learning, people’s lives are a pawn in a game


As planning for the Fall 2021 semester at American River College is underway, the health of the community should be at top priority. (Photo via Freepik)

It has been a full year since March 13, the day that all the colleges in the Los Rios Community College District shut down. Luckily, for some students and staff, the LRCCD announced on March 1 that the fall 2021 semester will be a hybrid format.

As of March 12, Sacramento county is still in the widespread purple tier with more than 95,000 confirmed cases.

The LRCCD has made the right decision because it should not open campuses until all faculty members have been vaccinated and also has all available resources available in case of infections.

In order to open schools for in-person learning, schools should have basic supplies like cleaning supplies and masks. To be more efficient, there should also be increased funding for safety precautions such as coronavirus testing.

Once the vaccine becomes available to the general public, students should be encouraged to get it to keep the entire community safely reopen schools. 

Another hardship that the country is now facing is the slow vaccine distribution. Many facilities have enough vaccines to give out, but because of certain limits on who is allowed to get it has slowed down the process for everyone.

For example, teachers are now on the list to get the vaccines, but appointments are not necessarily available for everyone.  This creates unnecessary stress for faculty who have underlying conditions if they are forced to go back to in-person learning with no defense against COVID-19.

This past year has been tough due to school and work closures and limited childcare. However, opening schools up with no resources causes harm to the students and faculty.

The LRCCD needs to make sure that each campus allows for proper social distancing. This becomes even more important if not everyone that is coming back to campus can be vaccinated. 

The LRCCD has done a good job with Kaiser Permanente and Dignity Health using Folsom Lake College and Sacramento City College as vaccination sites, but all four LRCCD campuses should give out vaccines so each community of the county will have a nearby vaccination site.

No school should force its faculty to come back to school during a global pandemic and especially without the cushion of a vaccine.

The lives of staff and students aren’t disposable and they should not die from COVID-19 just because people want schools to be open. This is an extraordinary situation where people’s lives need to be prioritized over profit.